By Chad Sherman, AEJMC Newspaper & Online Division, Published June 13, 2016
The Newspaper and Online News Division of the nation’s largest organization of journalism professors is pleased to announce that James E. “Jay” Shelledy of Louisiana State University is the recipient of its Educator of the Year Award for 2016.
Shelledy, professional-in-residence and Fred Jones Greer Jr. Endowed Chair at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, will receive the award at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in Minneapolis in August.
The award honors professors for outstanding achievement in preparing journalism students, advancing journalism education and promoting career development.
As Dean Jerry Ceppos put it in his nomination letter, Shelledy “directs a sort of news empire in which LSU students investigate cold civil-rights murders by making FOI requests and helping families turn the page on a scarring chapter in their lives; learn to cover the Louisiana state legislature, or work with news editors around the state in fulfilling requests on a wide range of reporting assignments.”
For six years, students in his Field Experience class have traveled to the rural South and Washington to tell the stories of unsolved murders from more than a half-century ago.
The students also investigate cases of Louisiana convicts, usually being held for life without the possibility of parole, who appear to have been convicted unfairly. Shelledy this year expanded the class to include a 10-student statehouse bureau that has already delivered 170 stories to 13 daily newspapers in Louisiana.
In letters supporting his nomination, students described Shelledy’s class as one of their best experiences of their time at LSU, with one describing him as “the type of nurturing, hyper-attentive mentor all students hope to encounter when they head off for college.”
Shelledy was editor of the Salt Lake Tribune for 12 years and has more than 30 years daily newspaper and wire service experience. He has been a Pulitzer Prize juror and an author.
Presentation of the Educator of the Year award will take place near the start of the Newspaper and Online News Division members’ meeting at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. Please plan to join us in celebration there.
His most immediate predecessors in this award are Brian Carroll, Berry; Carrie Brown-Smith, CUNY; Wilson Lowrey, Alabama; and Brian Brooks, Missouri.
Please join us in congratulating Professor Shelledy.
(Professor Shelledy retired from the faculty in mid-2017. He is now a member of the Manship School’s Board of Visitors. His e-mail address remains email@example.com.)